Chandrababu Naidu, the 'Kumaraswamy of India'

What more awaits the mighty as hardball coalition politics comes into play is what many are waiting to see
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with key allies TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar during National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with key allies TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar during National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.Photo | PTI

With TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu turning out to the most important alliance partner in the NDA after his thumping win in Andhra, some people in Karnataka are calling him the "Kumaraswamy of India".

They are using this moniker with a reason as they see the soon-to-be Chief Minister of AP driving hard bargains ahead of government formation with only 16 MPs on his side. By demanding the Speaker's post and other plum positions, these people are saying Naidu is trying to do a HD Kumaraswamy.

The ex-CM of Karnataka has been famously known to pull off seemingly impossible bargains even after winning a marginal number of seats in assembly elections. These have included demanding and getting the Chief Minister's chair and several key portfolios. Will Naidu succeed similarly at the Centre is what they are waiting to see.

After seeing the photo of a pensive Narendra Modi (seen above), these people were also heard saying that the BJP, which did not bother to arrest high petrol and LPG prices and imposed taxes on everything, did have a lot of serious thinking to do.

What else awaits the mighty as hardball coalition politics comes into play?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with key allies TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar during National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.
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The prize that awaits Shivraj Chouhan

After the clean sweep by BJP in Madhya Pradesh, the state capital's power corridors are busy guessing the future of three key politicians -- Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath.

The biggest buzz is around the six-time LS polls winner from Vidisha, Chouhan, and what awaits him in the coming days. This as the 65-year-old ex-CM heads to Delhi.

Power corridors are betting on Mama (as Chouhan is popularly known) either getting any of the two key ministerial portfolios -- agriculture or women and child development -- in the Modi 3.0 regime or being the frontrunner for the coveted post of national BJP president.

JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy too had hinted that his party was interested in the Agriculture portfolio in the new NDA Government.

Smriti Irani, who was upset by KL Sharma in Amethi, served as the Women and Child minister in the outgoing cabinet.

The Congress, which till a few months ago was attacking Chouhan, had said post the election results that the ex-MP CM should be considered as the NDA government's PM choice since he won Vidisha by 8.20 lakh votes compared to Narendra Modi's diminished 1.5 lakh win from Varanasi.

The power corridors in Bhopal are also guessing the political futures of septuagenarian ex-CMs Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.

Political pundits believe that while Nath will lie low for some time before starting to work for the political re-launch of his son Nakul Nath in Chhindwara, Singh may focus on rebuilding his ex-minister and third-time MLA son Jaivardhan Singh's future.

Himanta's biggest rival's win in Assam sets tongues wagging

Meanwhile in Assam, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi's comprehensive win over BJP's Topon Gogoi in Jorhat seat has set tongues wagging.

Social media users are showing no mercy for BJP minister Pijush Hazarika who had publicly announced ahead of the polls that he would quit politics if Gogoi won. They are now asking the minister when he will do that.

Secondly, Mrinal Saikia, who is a BJP MLA, stoked a controversy by congratulating Gogoi on his "extraordinary victory" and called the Congress biggie a "fighter".

"Gaurav’s win is special, for it proved money and big campaigns don’t always help you win in elections," Saikia said.

The remarks did not go down well with the BJP indicating Saikia might not be fielded in the 2026 state elections.

The BJP had gone all guns blazing to defeat Gogoi, considered Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's biggest political rival in the state. It stationed some ministers in Jorhat and organised a series of rallies. In contrast, Gogoi had a handful of people with him as he moved around places to seek votes.

(Inputs: Aknisree Karthik, Anuraag Singh and Prasanta Mazumdar)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with key allies TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar during National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.
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